Remembering ‘Lamar Riots,’ 50 years later


By Bobby Bryant
Editor
editor@newsandpress.net

Fifty years ago this week, the town of Lamar was tossed into the national news when a mob of about 200 white people turned over a school bus to protest desegregating Darlington County schools.
This week, the “Lamar Riots” are being remembered again, with events both in Lamar and in Columbia at the University of South Carolina.
On March 2, USC’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research planned to host a conversation with three of the black students aboard that flipped-over bus – Ronald Bacote of Virginia, Clarence Brunson of Hartsville and David Lunn of Detroit, Mich.
Last year, they were honored by the S.C. Senate as Hartsville Sen. Gerald Malloy recounted what happened March 3, 1970.
“We were the … people on the school bus that nobody asked about (later),” Lunn told the News & Press last year. “It was almost like we were forgotten.” At least three other people also were known to have been aboard the overturned bus – Edward Lunn of Texas, Woodrow Wilson Jr. of Columbia and Sally Wilds, now deceased.
Malloy was scheduled to join in the USC discussion Monday night.
“In the spring of 1970, the terror and trauma experienced by African-American students in Lamar captured headlines around the nation. Now, 50 years later, the (USC) center is pleased to provide a forum where those who survived the bus attacks can finally give their account of what transpired,” said center Director Bobby Donaldson.
And in Lamar, events were also planned this week to remember the 1970 incident.
On March 3, Lamar Community Healing planned a “Healing Vigil” at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Lamar. And this Saturday, March 7, a “Healing Symposium” was planned to be held at the Lamar High School cafeteria from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a reception at 12:30 p.m.

“We were the … people on the school bus that nobody asked about (later),” Lunn told the News & Press last year. “It was almost like we were forgotten.” At least three other people also were known to have been aboard the overturned bus – Edward Lunn of Texas, Woodrow Wilson Jr. of Columbia and Sally Wilds, now deceased.
Malloy was to join in the USC discussion Monday.
“In the spring of 1970, the terror and trauma experienced by African-American students in Lamar captured headlines around the nation. Now, 50 years later, the (USC) center is pleased to provide a forum where those who survived the bus attacks can finally give their account of what transpired,” said center Director Bobby Donaldson.
And in Lamar, events were also planned this week.
On March 3, Lamar Community Healing planned a “Healing Vigil” at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Lamar. And this Saturday, March 7, a “Healing Symposium” was planned at the Lamar High School cafeteria from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a reception.

Author: Rachel Howell

Share This Post On

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
x
6
Posts Remaining